Known for being a part of the Dust Bowl history of the 1930’s—sometimes called the Dirty Thirty’s—my home in Southeastern Colorado in the 1940’s had changed considerably. Roosevelt’s programs, the WPA and the CCC, had made improvements in land conservation. Also farmers had learned new methods to care for their fields with the benefit of the modern equipment of those days. So by my twelfth year, I was bothered little by dust bowls which were rather rare by that time.
Of course. that was good news. Bad news – there was still little rain. No irrigation for us. Little, if any, for neighbors. Daddy planted crops, and looked to the sky in hopeful faith that the rain would come in time to save the seeds and give them the moisture to sprout into life. And the rain would come. Often gully washers. Replanting. Looking. Praying. All over again.
But I never remember a crop failure. Did we have them? I don’t know, daddy was no whiner. Farmers didn’t whine. We were “carried” by the bank until harvest time. Bankers didn’t whine. The grocer kept a separate statement for most of the farmers. They would be paid twice a year. Once when the crops were sold; once when the steers were sold. But the grocers didn’t whine. Men were as good as their word. If disaster struck, all would go down together. But disaster didn’t strike. Instead prosperity came.
So I am left with memories. Walking to school. Picking prairie flowers. Watching the crops grow. Gathering hens’ eggs. Reading library books. Sunday and Wednesday church. Two week revivals. Entering spelling bees. Churning butter. Fried chicken. Baby sister. Extended family. Health. Security. Love. Jesus. Looking back, I wonder, “Was life really that good?” I guess I’ll never know.
You see, Daddy was no whiner.